Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Crock Pot Brisket

This was was delicious and super easy. Will definitely make again. I took Pioneer Woman's recipe and adapted it a bit. I put the brisket in a crock pot on low with a bottle of chili sauce, a pkg of dry onion soup mix and a tablespoon of liquid smoke. Then I cooked it for 8 hours, until it was falling apart.

Cheeseburger Soup

This was easy to make and good. I am not a huge fan of Velveeta and you could really taste it. I think this is what I would do next time:

swap half the velveeta out for cream cheese (in other words 16 oz. of velveeta and 2 pkgs of cream cheese)
add a can of rotel and put a little less chicken broth in

Friday, January 24, 2014

Breakfast Pizza

This was easy and good. You can customize any way you want. I used Pillsbury pizza crust and a jar of Ragu double cheddar cheese sauce. First I  rolled out the crust in the pan and baked about 3/4 of the time called for. While that was baking, I scrambled the eggs. Then I spread the cheese sauce on the crust and topped with the scrambled eggs. I put Canadian bacon on the pizza, but you could use sausage or bacon or all three. Then I sprinkled a little shredded cheddar on top, and returned it to the oven until the crust was brown and the cheese was melted.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amish Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies were awesome and very easy to make. I recommend.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Caramel Bars

These were very easy to make and tasted really good. Very sweet and rich, so a little goes a long way. This is another recipe that would be easy to customize. If you wanted to add pecans and they could be turtle bars. If you wanted to use chocolate cake mix instead of yellow, they would be even more rich. I am also wondering about using German chocolate cake and substituting pecans and coconut for the chocolate chips. This probably would be a good candidate for a gluten free recipe too. All you would have to do is use a gf cake mix instead of a regular one.

Juicy Lucy Rollwich

Made these cheeseburger roll ups over the weekend and they were awesome and very easy. You just take a roll of Pillsbury pizza dough and lay it out flat, then put your toppings on it, roll it up and bake it. This recipe has deli American cheese, relish, hamburger and onions, but you could really do whatever you wanted with this. You could do taco, pizza, bbq chicken, etc. I want to try bbq sauce, shredded chicken, and smoked cheddar.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chex Brittle (gluten free)

I made the Chex Brittle recipe because it was gluten free and easy. It tastes good, but not knock your socks off. It is sweet, but not too sweet.

Next time, I would melt some white and milk chocolate and drizzle it over the brittle while it is on wax paper.

I used mixed nuts rather than peanuts in this mix. Another variation you might consider is using coconut and almonds and changing the vanilla flavoring to almond.


Something new for the new year

I'm starting to get back into cooking again. I've decided to start using this blog to review recipes. I will post a link to the recipe and tell you how it turned out for me and whether or not I recommend it. We'll see how this works. I like having this blog as my personal recipe index. I am hoping this will help me to remember what worked and what didn't and to be able to find the recipe if I want to make it again.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Dip

Beware. This stuff is awesome. It is very easy to eat enough to make yourself sick.

Chicken Enchilada Dip
2 cans of chicken breast
8 oz. cream cheese
2 c. sharp cheddar
1 c. mayo
4 oz. can of chopped green chiles
1 chopped jalapeno
bunch of green onions chopped
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne
salt and pepper
Mix it all together and put it in a crockpot. Cook until all melty. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Almond Coffee Cake

Another easy and fast recipe. This is delicious!

Almond Coffee Cake
1 white cake mix
4 eggs
1 1/4 c. water
1/2 c. oil
2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
2 t. almond extract
1/2 c. sliced almonds
Mix all together. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees or until done. Let cool. Remove from pan.

Glaze:
1 c. sliced almonds
2 t. almond extract
3 c. powdered sugar
1 stick of butter
2 T. milk
Beat all together, except for almonds. Pour on cake. Sprinkle with almonds.

Fast and Easy Sock it to Me Cake

This cake was a hit and it is easy and fast to make. (See a trend? Everything I've made lately is easy and fast!)

Sock-it-to-Me Cake
1 yellow cake mix
2 small pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
2 T. cinnamon
1 c. water
1/2 c. oil
4 eggs
Mix all of the above together in a mixing bowl.

Filling:
In a separate bowl mix:  1 c. of brown sugar, 1/2 c. pecans and 2 T. cinnamon.

Pour half of the cake batter in a greased and floured bundt pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnaom mix on top. Pour the rest of the cake batter on top of that. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until done. Let cool. Remove from pan.

Glaze:
3 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
3 T. milk (more or less to get the right consistancy)
Whisk all together and pour on top of cake.

Easy and Fast Chicken Chili

We are trying to sell our house. As a result, I have been spending more time cleaning than cooking. Not normal for me! I want to post some good recipes that I've tried lately, but I don't have pictures for all of them, so you will just have to use your imagination.

First, is this chicken chili. It is sooooooo good. And super fast. You will love it.

Easy and Fast Chicken Chili
2 cans of chicken breast chunks
1 pkg. of McCormick's Chili White Chicken seasoning
1 can of white beans, not drained
1 can of chicken broth
2 T. sour cream
Mix it all together in a crock pot and cook for a few hours. Alternatively, you could cook on the stove top. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or so. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Greek Dip

This is so good. I love it the way it is, but I also want to try an Italian version, sort of a bruschetta dip with fresh mozzerella.

Greek Dip
olive oil
1 container of feta, crumbled
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped small
1 small can of black olives, sliced and drained
bunch of green onions, chopped
2 T. Greek seasoning (I used Cavenders)

Pour olive oil in the dish to cover the bottom. Sprinkle with feta, tomatoes, olives and green onions. Sprinkle with seasoning. Eat by with a sliced baguette.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Garlic Olives and Garlic Olive Spread

If you love garlic you will love the following recipes. They are both so easy to make as well.

Garlic Olive Spread
1/2 jar of garlic olives
8 oz. block of cream cheese
Put the cream cheese and the olives in a mixing bowl. Beat until combined. Keep refrigerated. Serve with crackers.

Garlic Olives
1 medium sized jar of green olives with pimentos
olive oil or vegetable oil
3 T. minced garlic
Drain the juice out of the olives. Add the garlic. Replace the juice with oil. Shake. Refridgerate for at least 3 days before serving.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Smoked Pork Chops

These are really easy. Also, anything fried in bacon grease is good. Just saying.
Smoked Pork Chops
bowl of flour
1 t. season salt
1/2 t. pepper
6 pieces of bacon
smoked pork chops
Fry your bacon. Keep the grease in the pan. Mix the flour and seasoning. Dip the pork chops in the flour, coating evenly. Fry in the bacon grease until brown on both sides.

Easy Fast Cheese Dip

This is good, but it is also one of those recipes for when you have no extra time to make something or if you have to bring something to a get together right after work and you know you are going to be super busy that day and won't feel like making a huge effort.
Easy Fast Cheese Dip
8 oz. velveeta
8 oz. cream cheese
1 can of rotel
1 bag of Jimmy Dean pre-cooked sausage crumbles
Mix it all together in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat. Continue cooking a little at a time until it is all melted and combined. Serve with chips. Ideas to make this your own: you could add some black beans (rinse and add about half a can) or some Mexi-corn (drain and add a small can) or a teaspoon of cumin.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Best Ever Pancakes

This recipe is awesome. You should make it. It tastes way better than boxed pancake mix and is just as easy.
Pancakes
3/4 c. milk
2 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
Mix the milk and the vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Let it sit. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix with a wire whisk. Add the egg and the vanilla to the measuring cup. Stir it using a small whisk. Then gradually add it to the flour mixture, whisking it in. Melt some butter on your skillet or griddle and fry until golden brown.

Raspberry Almond White Cake

This cake is special.


Raspberry Almond White Cake
cake:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
5 egg whites
2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract
1 c. milk
1 c. sliced almonds

frosting:
2- 8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 of a stick of butter
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. almond

filling:
1 c. raspberry preserves
1 T. corn syrup


First, beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk. Set aside.

In yet another separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the extracts.
 
Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the flour mixture into 3 batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk just until combined.
 
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter between three 9-inch pans, greased and floured.

Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Invert onto racks and let cool completely.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in the extracts. Beat in the powdered sugar.
 
For the filling, stir the preserves with the corn syrup until smooth. If you are having trouble, put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften.
 
To assemble:  place one cake layer on a plate. Spread a thin layer of the frosting over the top, then spread on 1/2 of the filling. Top with another cake layer and repeat with the same amounts of frosting and preserves. Top with a third cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Press the toasted almonds onto the sides. 

Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chalupas

This is not exactly a recipe, but more of a concept. The picture below is not of a chalupa obviously. I forgot to take a picture before we at them all. However, the scone (or fried bread) pictured below is what I used for the chalupa shell, except mine were larger because I stretched the dough out more before I fried them.
Chalupas
1 pkg. of frozen roll dough
taco seasoned cooked hamburger
taco toppings (lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, sour cream, black olives, green onions, etc.)

Thaw out the frozen dough and let rise according to the directions. Heat up a pan full of vegetable oil. Dip your fingers in a container of crisco (so they don't stick to the dough). Take the bread dough and stretch it out until it gets ready to break. Drop it in the hot oil. Turn it over when the side facing down is light golden brown. When both sides are brown, remove it from the grease and let it dry on a paper towel. Fold it in half like a soft taco and fill with hamburger and toppings.

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookie Bars

For some reason I have trouble making no-bake cookies. They usually don't set up and we end up having to eat them with spoons. However, this recipe turned out just fine. These are a good twist on the traditional cookies in that they are all peanut butter with no cocoa. It's nice to just pour them into the pan and not have to drop them out like cookies. For this recipe, it helps to have the peanut butter measured out and ready to go and the oats standing by with a measuring cup, because you will want to be quick once it is time to add them.
Peanut Butter No-Bake Bars
1/4 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 c. peanut butter
3 c. oats
Spray an 8 x 8 pan with Pam. In a heavy saucepan, cook the butter, sugar and milk until it comes to a boil. Make sure to stir frequently, because this can burn easily. After it comes to a boil, set your timer for 2 minutes and keep stirring. After 2 minutes, add in the peanut butter and mix until melted. Then mix in the oats. Pour into your pan. Let it harden and cut into squares.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

This is an awesome recipe. Very decadent. I failed to take a picture, but you can see what they looked like by going to Southern Plate's website. That is where I got the recipe. Her recipe calls for letting it sit overnight, but I adapted it so that you don't have to let it sit and you can make it right away. You could easily substitute blueberry or raspberry instead of strawberry in this recipe, if you prefer.

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
1 big loaf of uncut French or Italian bread
8 oz. cream cheese
3 T. of strawberry preserves, plus 1/2 c. for syrup
7 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Set aside.  Slice the bread into 1 1/2 inch slices. Make a slit into the center of the big slice of bread, kind of like a pocket, but don't go all the way through. Mix together the cream cheese and 3T. of jam. Warm up a skillet and melt a little butter in it, so that the bottom is covered in butter. Spoon the cream cheese mix into the pocket of the bread. Put the bread in the egg mixture and make sure the bread soaks up the egg on both sides. Drop onto the skillet and fry until golden brown. Repeat for all the pieces. Put the 1/2 c. preserves into a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or so, until syrup consistency.  Serve on the french toast.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

These are really good and do not use cream of whatever soup. The sauce is sour cream based. If you want this to be spicier, use pepper jack cheese.
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
tortillas, flour or corn
chicken, cooked and shredded
2 c. shredded jack cheese
2 cans of diced green chiles
3 T. flour
2 c. chicken broth
Mix the chicken and 1 c. of cheese in a bowl. Spray a 9 x 13 pan. Put the chicken mixture inside each tortilla and roll up and put in the pan.
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth. Cook for a few minutes until thickened. Whisk in the sour cream and green chiles. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Caramel Cake

This is fast, easy and delicious. We loved it.

Caramel Cake
2 cans of coconut pecan frosting (like you put on German chocolate cake)
1 yellow cake mix
1 box of instant vanilla pudding
1 c. milk
1 c. oil
4 eggs
Beat the cake mix, pudding, oil and eggs. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until done in the middle. Let cool. Frost with the coconut pecan frosting. You can just put it between the layers and on top, or you can frost the outsides too.

Tiny Peach PIes

The peach filling for these pies is delicious. It would be so good on vanilla ice cream, or in a yellow cake. I am going to try it with a cake. If you want to do these the long way, make your own pie crust. I just used refrigerator crust today. We have too much going on for me to be making homemade pie crusts. These were still wonderful.
 Tiny Peach Pies
1 box of pie crust
1 bag of dried peaches
2 c. water
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/4 t. cinnamon
Put the peaches and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add in the sugar, butter and cinnamon. Continue to simmer until soft. Smash with a potato masher. Let cool a little.
Spray a muffin tin or two (I got 8 pies out of my box of pie crust). Spread out the pie crust. Use a cup to cut a circle big enough to fit inside the muffin tin. I used a pretty big plastic cup for the bottom. Then use a smaller cup to make the top crust. Press the bottom piece into the pan. Fill with peaches. Add the top crust. Whisk together an egg white and some water and brush on the tops of the crust, sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so, checking for when they are brown.

Pecan Pie Cake

I did not actually make this myself. A friend at work made it. (Thanks Trish!) It was so good, I have to share the recipe. This is one of those cakes that is very impressive and worth the effort. I wish there were leftovers!
Pecan Pie Cake
Frosting:
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
3/4 c. dark corn syrup
1/3 c. cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. half-and-half
1/8 t. salt
3 T. butter
1 t. vanilla extract
Whisk together everything but the butter and vanilla in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and boil for at least one minute, or until thick. Remove from heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Let cool. Put a sheet of wax paper on top of the frosting and refridgerate for at least 4 hours.

Cake:
3 c. finely chopped pecans
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. Crisco
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 T. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. dark corn syrup

Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.
 
Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, and gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.
 
Combine flour and baking soda.  Add to butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour  mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans.
 
Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form, and fold one third egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Pour into prepared pans.Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. 
 
Cool in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto the wire racks. Brush the tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely. Spread half of pecan pie filling on one layer, pecan side up.   Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling, and spread with remaining filling.  Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Apple Dumplings

These are delicious. This is a Pioneer Woman recipe that she put out a few years ago. At the time I thought they looked good, but I never made the time to try the recipe. I've been missing out. I used three apples instead of 2 and made 12 of these. There were 4 leftover pieces of dough, and I just wrapped up them up like crescents and baked them alongside. I think they were almost better than the ones with apples in them. I really want to try this recipe using canned peach halves next.
Apple Dumplings
2 apples, peeled and sliced into 8 slices each
2 cans of crescent rolls
2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 t. cinnamon
12 oz. Mt. Dew
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll and place in the pan. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the dumplings, making sure they are totally covered in goo.  Pour Mt. Dew around the dumplings. Evenly sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Corn Dip

This is really good and it is fast and easy to make. It's hard to stop eating it! You can adjust this recipe to your tastes by adding a can of green chiles, chopped jalapenos or using pepper jack cheese.
Corn Dip
1 c. mayo
1 c. sour cream
1 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
2 T. taco sauce
1 can white corn, drained
1 can fiesta (or Mexi) corn, drained
1 can rotel, drained
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar
2 bunches of green onions chopped
Mix the mayo, sour cream and seasonings. Fold in the rest of the ingredients. Serve with chips. It's better if it has a few hours to sit, but tastes good right away too.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cheesecake Bars (with a Gluten Free option)

These are great. Much easier to serve people than a traditional cheesecake. If you are interested in making these gluten free, you can substitute gluten free graham crackers for the regular ones. I did not have gluten free graham crackers, so I used crushed gluten free cornflakes. They made it a bit chewy, but the flavor was fine.

Cheesecake Bars
crust:
1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs
4 T. powdered sugar
1/8 t. cinnamon
5 T. melted butter 

cheesecake:
2 pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. sour cream
3 eggs
3 t. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Stir together the crust ingredients. Press in the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Lower the temp to 325°F. Beat the cream cheese and the sugar. When smooth, gradually beat in the rest of the ingredients. Pour onto the crust. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before refrigerating.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I could not stay out of this dough. It is awesome. If you prefer a chewier cookie, then you will likely enjoy these. They are good. Note that they don't spread much at all when you bake them. I used my small cookie scoop, but I probably should have used a larger one. These would be great as sandwiches if you filled them with ice cream or frosting.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks of butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (I want to try butterscotch next time)
2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 c. chocolate chips
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in the pudding mix. Gradually beat in the flour, salt and baking soda until just combined. Beat in the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or so, until lightly brown.

Fruit Pizza

This is super easy and perfect for Spring.
Fruit Pizza
2 pkgs. refrigerated sugar cookie dough (or make your own)
2 jars of marshmallow fluff
2 pkgs. cream cheese
4 T. orange juice concentrate, thawed
sliced fruit (I used: purple grapes, kiwi, strawberries, canned pineapples and canned mandarin oranges)
Spray a jelly roll pan or deep cookie sheet with Bakers Joy or grease and flour. Spread in the cookie dough. I crumbled it up and dropped the pieces evenly on the pan, then took a piece of wax paper and pressed it down. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so, until brown. Let cool. Beat the cream cheese and orange juice. Beat in the fluff. Spread evenly over the crust. Slice the fruit and pat dry with paper towels to make sure there is no juice. Arrange on top the cream cheese. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Easy Black Forest Cake

I tried this recipe for easy Black Forest Cake over the weekend and it was so good. My frosting in the picture looks weird because I used french vanilla pudding in the frosting instead of regular. The french vanilla turned it yellow. I think chocolate pudding mix would be good too.
 Black Forest Cake
1 devils food cake mix, prepared according to directions
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 can of cherry pie filling
2 tubs of cool whip
1 small pkg of instant pudding
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Pour the mini marshmallows in the bottom and spread out evenly. Pour the cake batter on top and spread out evenly. Drop the cherry pie filling by spoonfuls onto the cake evenly (there will be parts with no cherry). Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until it is set in the middle. Let cool. Mix the cool with with the instant pudding. Spread on the cake.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Peach Cake

This is really easy to throw together and tastes so good. I baked it this morning to take with us to lunch today and it smelled so good we all had a hard time staying out of it until it was time to eat it.
Peach Cake
stick of butter
2 c. sugar, divided
1 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2/3 c. milk
large egg
1 t. vanilla
2 cans of peaches drained
2 t. cinnamon
Spray a 9 x 13 pan.  Put the stick of butter in it and stick it in the oven at 350 to let it melt. While it's melting, whisk together 1 c. of sugar with the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the egg, milk and vanilla. Pour into the 9 x 13 pan (making sure the butter is totally melted). In the same bowl, mix the remaining 1 c. of sugar with the cinnamon. Toss in the peaches and coat them. Evenly distribute the peaches around the batter. Scrape the bowl of any leftover cinnamon/sugar mixture and drizzle on the cake. Bake for 40 minutes.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gooey Cherry Cake

This is almost the same as the Gooey Apple. It makes a nice coffee cake.
Gooey Cherry Cake
first layer:
1 yellow cake mix
1 melted stick of butter
1 egg
second layer:
8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3 c. powdered sugar
2 cans of cherries, drained
1/4 c. sugar
Mix the cake mix, butter and egg. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan (sprayed with Bakers Joy). In the same mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Beat in the butter. Pour on top of the crust. Drain the cherries. Sprinkle with the 1/4 c. of sugar. Carefully sprinkle on top of the batter and push down so that the top is evenly covered in cherries. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool completely and then refrigerate.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gooey Apple Cake

This is a great cake. Not hard to make at all. Excellent with a cup of coffee for breakfast!
Gooey Apple Cake
first layer:
1 yellow cake mix
1 melted stick of butter
1 egg
second layer:
8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3 c. powdered sugar
4 apples
Mix the cake mix, butter and egg. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan (sprayed with Bakers Joy). In the same mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Beat in the butter. Peel and slice the apples. Fold into the batter. Pour on top of the crust. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool completely and then refrigerate.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Bars

These are peanut butter heaven. If you love peanut butter, you will love these.
Peanut Butter Bars
bars:
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

frosting:
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c.) softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk

For the bars, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Add in the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Pour into a greased 9 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool. For the frosting, beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar. Add in milk until it is the right consistency. Spread over the bars.

Chicken Pot Pie

I know this picture is not that great. I meant to take a picture right when it came out of the oven but I didn't get around to it. I am not the best photographer anyway, but this is a really good chicken pot pie recipe and not really that difficult or time consuming to put together, but it does have to bake for an hour.
Chicken Pot Pie
1 stick of butter
2 leeks, chopped
1/2 c. flour
1 can of chicken broth
3 c. chicken cooked and shredded
1 1/2 c. frozen, cubed, hash browns O'Brien
1 c. chopped carrots
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed out
1 egg, plus 1 T. water

Melt the butter and cook the leeks in the butter for 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour. Cook for 3 minutes whisking the whole time. Whisk in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil whisking constantly. Remove from heat and mix in the chicken, vegetables and salt and pepper.

Lightly roll out the puff pastry. Press one sheet into a 9x9 pan sprayed with Pam. Add the filling. Place remaining pastry sheet over filling in opposite direction of bottom sheet; fold edges under. Whisk together egg and 1 T. water, and brush over top of pie.

Bake at 375° 55 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

This is not a recipe for a week night after work. They take time to make, but they are worth it.
Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza
crust:
4 c. flour
3 t. cornmeal
1 3/4 t. salt
2 3/4 t. quick yeast
4 T. oil
4 T. melted butter
1 c. plus 2 T. warm water

filling:
3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 lb. Italian sausage links, cooked and sliced into coin shapes
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 T. minced garlic
1 T. sugar
2 t. Italian seasoning
1 c. fresh grated Parmesan

First, mix all the crust ingredients together in your mixer with the dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Spray a large bowl with Pam and put the dough in it to rise. Cover. Let rest in a warmish place for an hour.

Spray two 9 inch cake pans with Pam. Pour 2 T. olive oil in each pan and let it coat the bottoms and half the side of the pans. Split the dough in half. Stretch each piece out into as large a circle as you can. Place in the pans. Push the dough towards the edges. Cover and let them rise for 15 minutes. Set your oven for 425.  After the 15 minutes, push the dough up the sides of the pans, going all the way to the top. Cover and let rest for another 15 minutes. Then bake for 10 minutes.

While they are baking, drain the tomatoes and mix the garlic, sugar and seasonings with the tomatoes. Slice the sausages. Get out the cheeses. Remove the pizzas from the oven. Fan the mozzarella cheese out on top of the crust. Evenly distribute the sausage on top of the cheese. Then sprinkle with the tomatoes. Press down. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the pans and place on cooling racks. Wait 15 minutes to serve.

Nutty Cereal Mix

These are addictive and it makes a huge batch. I recommend you give away bags of it to keep from eating it all.
Nutty Cereal Mix
small box of Rice Chex
small box of Golden Grahams
small bag of slivered almonds
small bag of coconut
3 sticks of butter
2 c. sugar
2 c. white corn syrup
In a large pan, like a stock pot, mix the butter, sugar and syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the cereals, coconut and almonds. Mix thoroughly and spread out on wax or parchment paper to harden.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is a very tasty recipe. I highly recommend. My son that does not like chicken breasts even liked it. I did not take a picture of the inside, but there is a layer of ham on top of the chicken breast.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
1 pkg. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 pkg. Deli sliced ham (12 thin slices)
1/4 c. ranch
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
6 slices provolone cheese
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 t. Melted butter
1 t. Garlic salt
Slice the chicken breasts in half to make them thinner. Beat with the tenderizer. Fry in a pan with a little olive oil and salt and pepper until fully cooked. Place in a casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Put two slices of ham on each breast. In a small bowl, mix the 1/4 c. Parmesan with the ranch. Spoon evenly on top of the ham. Lay one slice of provolone on top of each. Mix the bread crumbs, butter, garlic and 1/3 c. Parmesan. Press down on top of the cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese melts and the crumbs are browned.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies


These really don't need an introduction if you've ever had the big-sized Little Debbie version you have a good idea what they taste like, but these are better. (If you prefer chocolate, try my whoopie pies instead.)

Oatmeal Cream Pies

cookies:
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. butter flavored Crisco
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c.  flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. salt
3 c. rolled oats

filling:
1 1/2 c.  Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/4 c. Crisco
1 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla extract

Cream butter, Crisco, brown and white sugars. After 5 minutes or so, beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and spice and mix until just combined. Fold in oats. Bake 10-12 minutes on parchment lined pans at 350. Let cool.

For the filling, beat fluff and Crisco for 3 minutes on medium. Then add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Assemble the cookies by putting a squirt of filling on one cookie and topping it with another cookie. You will have to judge how much filling to use by doing it. Too much filling and it oozes out. Not enough filling and you can’t see it from the sides of the cookie.  

Chicken Parm Pasta

This is super simple and is great for those nights when you have a very short time frame to get dinner to the table. This takes about 20 minutes to get to the table (excluding the all day cook time for the crock pot).
Chicken Parm Pasta
pkg. of chicken breasts
jar of spaghetti sauce
pasta
butter
minced garlic
fresh grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
In the morning, put the chicken and the spaghetti sauce in your crock pot and cook on low all day. When you get home from work, boil the pasta, drain and then add in a couple of tablespoons of butter, a small handful of cheese and a teaspoonful of garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well. Serve the chicken and sauce on top of the pasta.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Skinny Mac and Cheese

Maybe it is a stretch to call this "skinny" but it is certainly lower in fat than my regular mac and cheese. My favorite is still Pioneer Woman's, but if you are trying to diet, then this one is pretty good. It came in at 178 calories for a 12th of the pan with 4 grams of fat, 12 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs and 2.5 grams of fiber.
Skinny Mac and Cheese
12 oz. of Ronzoni smart taste pasta (tastes like white but has nutrition of wheat)
12 oz. can of evaporated non-fat milk
8 oz. of 2% shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 c.)
1/2 c. non-fat sour cream
1 t. dried mustard powder
1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper
Cook the macaroni and drain. Add the milk to a saucepan. When it just starts to bubble around the edges, remove from heat and whisk in the cheese, sour cream, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in the macaroni. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 more.

Oven-baked Ribs

These are awesome and very easy to make. They just fall apart while you eat them. I could cut them with a spoon.  I used some baby back and some country style. Both turned out fine.

Oven-baked Ribs
Put all your ribs in a large stock pot. Cover with water. Add  1 T. minced garlic, 1 t. pepper, 2 T. salt and 1 T. liquid smoke. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium and cook for about an hour. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam then pour a little bbq sauce in the bottom and swirl it around. Lay out the ribs. Pour bbq sauce all over them. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

White Chicken Chili

This is another really fast dinner to put together that we all enjoyed. If you want, you can garnish with shredded monterey jack and sour cream.

White Chicken Chili
2 cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans chopped green chilis
about 3 or 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (rotisserie or canned chicken work as well)
1 large container of chicken broth
1 T. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 T. cornmeal or corn flour (or cornbread mix works)
1 c. milk
Mix the beans, green chilis, chicken and broth in either a crock pot or a soup pot. Add in the seasoning except for the cornmeal and milk. If cooking on the stove top, bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. If cooking in a crock pot, cook for 4 hours or so on low heat. Then mix the cornmeal and milk together and add to chili. Heat a little longer to thicken and then serve. We like this with cornbread.

Taco Soup

This was a great taco soup. You can really customize it to what you like best. For example, if you like it hotter, add jalapenos or green chiles. If you like less beans, take some out. As an added bonus it is fast and easy to make.

Taco Soup
1 lb. of browned hamburger
1 can of Rotel, don't drain
1 can of diced tomatoes, don't drain
1 can of sliced black olives, don't drain
1 can of white corn, don't drain
1 can of black beans, drain and rinse
1/2 a can of pinto beans, drain and rinse
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing
3 empty tomato cans full of water
Add all the ingredients together in a big soup pot and cook for about 30 minutes. We topped with Fritos, shredded cheddar and sour cream.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lucy's Birthday Pound Cake

This is pretty much the same recipe she had last year, but the strawberries are on the side. I think this is the best cake recipe I make. I love it. I'm glad she keeps asking for it.

Pasta Bake

This is totally different than any other pasta recipe I have. We really enjoyed it. I think the veggies in it make the difference.

Pasta Bake
6 slices ready cook bacon chopped up
1 t. minced garlic
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped bell pepper
3 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes with liquid
1 2.25-oz. can sliced ripe black olives, drained
1 T. oregano
1 lb. ground beef
salt and pepper
12 ounces rotini pasta
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 10-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup water
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Boil the pasta and drain. Brown the hamburger and drain. In a dutch oven, add the bacon, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, olives, oregano, hamburger and salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Put a spoon full of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Put half of the noodles in the pan. Layer on half of the cheese. Layer on half of the sauce. Repeat. Mix the cream of mushroom with water and pour over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Chicken and Dumplings Paula Style

This recipe comes from Paula Deen. We usually have the biscuit kind of dumplings. These are more like fat noodles. They made for a nice change.


Chicken and Dumplings
1 small fryer chicken
Celery
Onion
Carrots
2 bay leaves
1 t. Salt
1 t. Pepper
2 T. chicken noodle base
1 can cream of celery soup
2 c. Flour + 1 t. Salt
Put the chicken in a large stockpot. Just barely cover it with water. Rough chop the veggies and throw in (you will take them out later). Add in salt, pepper, bay leaves, and base. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook for an hour. Remove chicken. Debone. Remove veggies and bay leaves. Add in chicken and celery soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. In the meantime, put the flour and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle it with about 3/4 c. ice water. Knead into a ball. Roll out 1/8 inch thick. Let it rest for 5 minutes or so. Cut into 1 inch squares using a pizza cutter. Throw them in the soup. Let cook for 4 or 5 minutes until they float.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Red Beans and Rice

This recipe is one I adapted from Emeril. We loved it. It was very easy to do. I soaked the beans over night and then put everything in the crock pot in the morning. When I got home from work all I had to make was the rice.
Red Beans and Rice
1 chopped onion
3 chopped celery
2 T. minced garlic
1 pkg. New Orleans style (andouille) sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. thyme
1/2 t. cayenne (use less to make it less spicy or more to make it hotter)
1/2 t. salt
ham hocks (I also added smoked pork chop bones- when we had them earlier in the week I cut the bones off before I served them, knowing they would be good seasoning here)
1 lb. dried red beans
32 oz. chicken stock
4 c. water
3 T. chicken noodle base
white rice
First, soak the beans in water overnight. Rinse in the morning. Add to a large crock pot. Put everything else, (except for the rice) in the crock pot. Cook on low all day. When you get home from work, remove the ham hocks, bones and bay leaves. Take a cup of the beans out and mash them. Return them to the crock pot and stir them in. Cook your rice and serve the beans on top of the rice.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coconut Cream Cake

This cake is too easy and people always love it. If you love Almond Joys, you can also make this with a chocolate cake and sprinkle sliced almonds on the top with the coconut.

Coconut Cream Cake
1 white cake mix
1 can of cream of coconut (found usually by the mixed drink stuff- don't accidentally get coconut milk)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
cool whip
coconut
Bake the white cake according to the directions in a 9 x 13 pan. After removing it from the oven, mix the cream of coconut and the sweetened condensed milk in a bowl. Using the end of wooden spoon or something similar, poke holes in the top of the cake, every inch or so. Pour the coconut mixture on the cake and let it settle down in the holes. Frost the cake with the cool whip, then sprinkle with coconut. Keep refrigerated and serve cold.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes

These are really easy to make and really add to a meal. We had them tonight with smoked pork chops and a salad.
Twice Baked Potatoes
4 baking potatoes
butter
sour cream
real bacon bits (or bacon if you have it)
shredded cheddar
green onions
Bake the potatoes (I did these in the microwave on the baked potato setting). Cut them in half and scoop out most of the insides. Put the insides in a bowl. Add in some butter and salt and pepper. Mash them a little. Throw in a big blob of sour cream (like 1/2 c.), a big handful of cheese, a handful of bacon and chopped green onions. Mash together until mixed. Scoop back into the potatoes. Top with a sprinkle of cheese. Bake at 350 until they are warm and the cheese is melted.